Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Explaining Canada-U.S. Differences in Annual Hours Worked


Author Info

  • Alberto Isgut
  • Lance Bialas
  • James Milway


Employed Canadians worked an average of 157 hours less per year than employed Americans during 1997-2004. This one month less per year spent on the job is a significant contributor to the difference in GDP per capita between Canada and the United States. This article provides a detailed examination of the factors underlying the Canada-United States gap in annual hours worked. We find that over 40 per cent of the gap can be explained by a higher propensity of Canadians to take full-weeks off, mainly for vacations. Furthermore, over a quarter of the intensity gap is explained by a higher incidence of part-time work in Canada, and much of this reflects the higher proportion of Canada's part-time workers who have difficulties finding full-time work. We find that Canada's higher union coverage rates and labour standards are more important factors to explain the hours gap than differences in marginal tax rates. Canada's less robust economy is also relevant. Finally, we find that highincome Canadians take considerably more weeks of vacation per year than their American counterparts and are less likely to work long work weeks.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
File Function: version en fran├žais
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Centre for the Study of Living Standards in its journal International Productivity Monitor.

Volume (Year): 13 (2006)
Issue (Month): (Fall)
Pages: 27-45

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:13:y:2006:3

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 151 Slater Street, Suite 710, Ottawa, ON K1P 5H3
Phone: 613-233-8891
Fax: 613-233-8250
Web page:
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:

Related research

Keywords: GDP per capita; Hours worked; Productivity gap; Part-time workers; Labour standards; Marginal tax rates;

Find related papers by JEL classification:


No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Andrew Sharpe, 2007. "Three Policies to Improve Productivity Growth in Canada," CSLS Research Reports 2007-05, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  2. Jean-Philippe Cotis, 2006. "Benchmarking Canada's Economic Performance," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 13, pages 3-20, Fall.
  3. Andrew Sharpe & Jill Hardt, 2006. "Five Deaths a Day: Workplace Fatalities in Canada, 1993-2005," CSLS Research Reports 2006-04, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  4. Jiun-Nan Pan & Kuang-Ta Lo & Jr-Tsung Huang, 2008. "Are Rich Earners Time-Privileged in Taiwan? The Evidence from 1981 to 2006," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 584-600, December.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:13:y:2006:3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Whitney Hamilton) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Whitney Hamilton to update the entry or send us the correct address.

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.